Today the pre-course meeting for the 2014-2015 class of Mugenjuku Kenshusei took place at 11am. As with last year’s meeting, the kenshusei sat in seiza through several speeches. Naomi, Izzy, and I received our certificates of course completion for the 2013-14 course–in effect, it was our graduation ceremony–then Payet-sensei spoke about what the kenshusei could expect from this year. The kenshusei introduced themselves individually, Izzy, Naomi and I gave them some words of wisdom from last year, and all the instructors and assistant instructors gave speeches.
Following the speeches, we had group photos and then lunch. But!! But between the speeches and group photos, everyone hobbled around recovering from the seiza and trying to get feeling back into their legs. Ah, the course has begun!
I thought that Izzy, Naomi, and I looked a little silly in our group photo last year, but this year’s group looks outright intimidating, don’t you think?
L-R: Richards (USA), Kitamura (Japan), Saegusa (Japan), Laurelle (France), Gusev (Russia).
Nick and Andy-sensei will stay on from England, and of course Izzy and Chris-sensei are from California, which is almost like a different country from the rest of the USA, so it’s a truly international course this year.
Chris-sensei has injured his knee preparing for his 4th-dan exam. We were all looking forward to seeing him get a much-deserved advancement, but instead it looks like we will be visiting him in the hospital after his knee surgery. So, he had to pose in the old-samurai-style instead of seiza:
Following lunch, Payet-sensei went home, and Andy-sensei got down to the nitty gritty of reviewing the Kenshusei Manual.
So far, so good. But of course they haven’t done any real training yet!!